After 14 years, American Idol will end following the finale of its upcoming 15th season — and the news of the show's cancellation is prompting many former judges to reflect on their time on the reality competition show.
"I found out [about the show ending] like everyone else did, and it was bittersweet," Paula Abdul, who sat on the judges panel from 2002 until 2009, said in a new interview.
"I felt a little shocked and melancholy, because I had the blessing of being there since day one. When I left, it was at the height — it was still 30-plus million people watching the show," the 52-year-old star told Today during a Wednesday, May 27 sit-down with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford.
Simon, Paula and Randy on American Idol in May 2005. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
While the "Opposites Attract" singer assured her time on the reality show was memorable, former judge Mariah Carey recently revealed her experience on American Idol was "boring" and "fake."
RELATED: See David Hasselhoff Perform an Epic Medley of 80s Hits on 'American Idol'
"That was the worst experience of my life. I'm not going to get into what [the problem] was, let's just say, I don't think they had any intentions of [the judges] having a good experience through that show," the 45-year-old singer said of co-judges Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson.
Mariah, Randy and Nicki on American Idol in May 2013. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
"It should have been about the contestants instead of about some non-existent feud that turned into even more ridiculousness and I would never want to be involved in it again, but everyone else can like it," she told Australia's KIIS FM, referring to rumors she was fighting with co-host Nicki on the program.
American Idol first premiered in June 2002 with original judges Randy, Paula and Simon Cowell and hosts Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman. Brian later left the show before season two, leaving Ryan as the program's primary host. As the series progressed, additional stars including Kara DioGuardi, Ellen DeGeneres and Steven Tyler joined the judges' table.
Your life just got exponentially better and more stylish now you've signed up for our newsletter. Fabulousness awaits!